You take the time to worry about your heart and your lungs, so why wouldn't you think about your eye health? If you are like most people, it might be because you don't know that much about how to take care of your eyes. Fortunately, I have been working with other people to teach them about eye health for the past twenty years. My father lost his eyesight because of a few bad decisions, and I don't want to see other people go down that path. Read here to learn why you should exercise, eat right, and see your eye doctor regularly.
Your eyes are rather delicate organs. If you want them to continue providing you with vision well into your '80s and '90s, then it's important that you care for them properly. Sadly, many of the habits you engage in on a daily basis may not be good for your eyes. Here's a look at some habits you should work on breaking in order to preserve your eyes health.
Sitting In the Sunshine
Getting some sun can really boost your mood and help you produce the vitamin D you need for good health. But exposing your eyes to too much sun is not good for them. The UV rays that largely comprise sunlight increase your risk of developing ocular cancers, such as ocular melanoma. They also put you at risk for cataracts, which occur when the lens of your eyes thickens and becomes opaque. Wear your sunglasses when you spend time in the sun, and your eyes will be a lot happier.
Eating a Nutrient-Poor Diet
If you're always reaching for junk food, fast food, and processed foods, then you are not doing your eyes any favors. Your eyes need a variety of nutrients in order to thrive, from vitamin A, to vitamin C, to biotin. The best way to get these nutrients is to make healthier food choices, opting for fresh fruits and veggies, whole grains, and lean meats over processed, junk food choices.
Leaving Allergies Untreated
If your allergies make your eyes red and itchy, then it's important to do something about it. Leaving your allergies untreated makes it likely that you will rub your eyes, which could expose them to bacteria. Especially when your eyes are irritated, they're vulnerable to infection. Take over-the-counter allergy meds to keep your symptoms at bay, and talk to an allergist if you need something stronger.
Smoking and Spending Time Around Smokers
Smoking cigarettes and other tobacco products increases your risk of a wide array of eye problems, from glaucoma to macular degeneration. If you smoke, it's definitely time to quit. If you live with someone who smokes, you're probably still being exposed in the form of secondhand smoke. Urge them to quit -- for their eye health and for your own.
If you start wearing your sunglasses, eating healthier, avoiding smoking, and treating your allergies, your eyes will thank you. To learn more about proper eye care and habits to avoid, speak with your eye doctor during your next eye exam.